Shooting Las Vegas

Lots of interesting advertising on the top of taxis in Las Vegas. I just happened to have my camera with me as this cab went by and so I took a shot. Looks like I could shoot something else in Vegas: fully automatic machine guns.

Southwest Photos

A busy week last week. The conference in Vegas did not leave much time for photography. However, I was able to get out to Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire for a couple of hours because of proximity to Las Vegas.

We had one open day where we made the trip out to Zion National Park in Utah. The first two photos are from there. The bottom two photos are from Valley of Fire.

Wi-Fi

From the home to the hotel and almost everywhere in between there is Wi-Fi. I take for granted that I can use my Blackberry anywhere I travel. And I also take for granted a wireless Internet connection when I stay at hotels. I am not a big cellphone user. I hardly ever use my cellphone for voice. For me, it is all about the data.

One of the last holdouts for wireless and Wi-Fi has been air travel. Must turn off those pesky cellphones and Blackberries. They interfere with the aircraft and pose a potential hazard to a safe flight. At least until now.

OnAir has just introduced a set of services that will allow passengers to use their iPhones, Blackberries and most other mobile devices to send and receive emails, exchange text messages and make and receive voice calls. Their service will also provide Internet access.

Okay. I am sold on the data side. But inflight voice calls over a cellphone?

I know how much I enjoy listening to people talk on their cellphones in public places. For whatever reason, most people become loud and obnoxious when using a cellphone in a public place. Presumably to ensure that the person on the other end of the call can hear them.

I wonder how loud they will have to speak to be heard when they are flying 35,000 feet in the air?

Travel by air just changed. Note to self: bring ear plugs.

Canada Day

We went to Kingston to celebrate Canada Day. The weather was perfect and the downtown area was bustling with people.

At night, we took in the fireworks display from the downtown harbourfront.

Here are a few photos of the fireworks. And a couple of tips. When I shoot fireworks I use a tripod and a remote shutter release. Everything on the camera is set to manual including autofocus. I turn the lens autofocus off and set the focus area to infinity. Aperture is set to f/11 and a shutter speed between 3 and 4 seconds.

When the rocket(s) launch, I press the shutter release just as the fireworks explode.

Sunset

Final night in Vancouver and so I made my way to the coast to get a few sunset shots.

A beautiful city. Makes Toronto look very flat by comparison.

Sunset 1

Sunset 2

Sunset 3

Sunset 4

Sunset 5

More Vancouver Pix

I had a chance to hike through Cleveland Dam and to make a relatively quick pass through the Aquarium at Stanley Park. I’ll let you guess as to where each of the photos below were taken.

C1

C2

C3

A1

A2

Stanley Park

A few readers of the blog have asked about whether I had a chance to tour Stanley Park. And the answer is yes. I did have a chance to drive through the park yesterday and I stopped to take a few pictures along the way.

I will eventually post some of the landscape oriented shots on flickr. What struck me most was the damage to the park.

On December 15, 2006 a major windstorm struck Stanley Park. Two hours of gale-force winds took down many large, significant trees throughout the park. More than 110 acres of the 600 acres of forested areas of park had virtually been levelled. Thousands of trees were uprooted, snapped in half or knocked down by other trees leaving broad swaths of debris, splintered trunks and upturned rootballs, some dozens of feet high.

Recent assessments suggest that more than 10,000 trees were lost in the storm and the restoration will cost upwards of $9 million dollars.

Here are a couple of photos that show the impact of the damage from that storm.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park

A reader wanted me to get a picture of the hollow tree.

The 13-metre-tall stump is at least 700 years old, but storm damage caused its decomposing hollow trunk to tilt dangerously.

The trunk, which is 20 metres in circumference, is held up by cables, and the surrounding parking lot has been fenced off to keep the public from approaching. The tree is to be cut down. But I found a way to get close and personal with the hollow tree to get a picture of that stump. Fortunately it did not fall on me.

Hollow Tree

And finally, someone wanted me to post a picture of the totem poles. The totem pole display area at Brockton Point is the most visited tourist attraction in all of British Columbia. Likely the most photographed as well. Not much time to be artistic, so here was my capture in full daylight.

Totem Poles

Vancouver Pix

I had a chance to get to some photography today. The weather here was amazing. Sunny and mild even though they had been predicting cloud and rain yesterday.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse

Lighthouse

Vancouver

Vancouver

Vancouver